by Kathy Lay
This Week's Verse: Psalm 42:11, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."(KJV)
There's a song I really like called "Yet Praise Him." I didn't get it at first. In fact, there's a portion of the song where the choir shouts repeatedly "I've got a yet praise...I've got a yet praise!" I thought they were saying I've got a yes praise--as in "Yes, Lord, I praise you!--because "yet praise" just didn't register in my mind. I finally realized my mistake when I saw the title in print: Yet Praise Him. Hmm, that's weird, I thought and then moved on to something else.
Then I ran across this week's verse which brought back to mind the lyrics to the song. And then, being the English nerd that I am, I thought about what the word "yet" means, and yes, I even looked it up.
There were several time-related definitions which made sense out of context, though they didn't quite fit here. But something clicked when I read this: "even; still (used to emphasize a comparative)" and my heart soared when I read this: "though the case be such; nevertheless." That definition is like a formula!
Even though or inspite of x, nevertheless y. Now before you start thinking "Oh no! This sounds like an equation! I hate math!" let me assure you this one's simple. The passage fills in y for us...PRAISE. And the result, let's call it z, is filled in too--hope and a healthy countenance. Our formula is x + y = z, but the only variable is x...fill in that blank with whatever the problem is. Because y = praise, and z = hope, the outcome is promised if you simply fill in x.
Let's put that into context, shall we? (Can you tell I've been in the King James Version?)
Lord, I feel so depressed. YET I still recognize you as my source of joy. I praise you anyway.
Father, I've been hurt and cheated by people I thought were my friends. YET I praise You because you're my hope.
God, I'm overwhelmed by the difficulties going on in my life. YET I praise you because nothing's too hard for you.
x + Praise = Hope
A yet praise is a praise you choose to offer God in spite of your circumstances, no matter what your x is. Your heart may not feel it. Your mind may even contradict it. But when you do it anyway (yet, nevertheless), your soul reaches out to God for His supernatural power and a little spark of hope ignites.
Father, regardless of what is going on in our lives, make us faithful with our yet praises. When we feel our souls suffocating in world-weariness, raise our chins just enough so that we look up to you and say, "YET, I praise you, Lord."
How many yet praises can you offer up right now? Plug into the above formula (as many times as you need to if you have lots of x's!) and then follow each with a hearty yet praise.
Psalm 42:11, "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." (NIV)
Isaiah 61:3, "To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."(KJV)
Psalm 71:14, "But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more." (KJV)